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You know the whole “The worst person you know just made a great point” meme? The one with the bald dude staring into the camera with a look of annoyed realization and acceptance? This is an article about that sort of thing, except for the parts where I will remind you that these are, in fact, some of the worst people you know, and the point they’re trying to make is mostly cosplay they’ve dressed up in, in order to shout the kind of opinions that make them some of the worst people you know, but professional-like.
Got all that? Well, this should help explain. Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Josh Hawley introduced legislation to the U.S. Senate challenging MLB’s antitrust exemption. To introduce this legislation, they released a joint statement saying:
The time has come to strike out the outdated and unequal treatment that has long benefited the MLB. Just as teams fiercely compete on the diamond, every sports league should operate under the same antitrust regulations. Our bill will level the playing field, removing the century-old exemption that has given the MLB an unfair advantage. It’s time to bring baseball in line with other leagues, fostering a competitive environment that sparks innovation, drives excellence, and keeps fans on the edge of their seats.
[nodding along] Yes, that all makes sense to me, this is good! Surely it’s because they are afraid that MLB will someday rip a team out of their communities like with what is happening with the Athletics, or the league will try to extract half-a-billion or more in taxpayer funds from their constituents in order to build a new stadium there or improve an existing one. No need to keep readi… Oh. They’re challenging MLB’s antitrust legislation because they’re still mad that the league moved the All-Star Game from Atlanta in 2021 in response to Georgia’s implementation of voter suppression laws, and because of the Dodgers’ Pride Night in Los Angeles that featured the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
God, these fucking goons. Maybe this is more like the Padme/Anakin meme.
Nothing is going to come of this, which is good, because as much as MLB’s antitrust exemption is horrific and a blight on the sport and the communities it impacts, do you really want these hate-mongering dweebs to get any kind of momentum from passing any legislation, no matter how useful it might be, by way of attacking LGBTIQA+ people, of holding onto anger at not being able to suppress the votes of minorities without being challenged by anyone, be they people or even evil corporations that went, “well hold on this is a little much, don’t you think?” This particular strain of congressperson has been upset about this since the moment MLB mentioned pulling the All-Star Game, with MLB’s antitrust legislation being challenged then, too. Add in the current anti-trans fervor and how it’s going to spill across the entire LGBTIQA+ spectrum if these ghouls can build up enough of that aforementioned momentum, and it’s no wonder they’re back at it again two years later when given even the smallest excuse to be.
Do you know how terrible you have to be for me to hope against MLB’s antitrust exemption being removed? As much as I enjoy imagining the look of sheer exhaustion and aggravation that came across Rob Manfred’s face when this news dropped, this isn’t the way. Representative Barbara Lee’s Moneyball Act might not be perfect, but it’s at least a start — getting the antitrust exemption removal ball rolling downhill by way of the A’s relocating to Las Vegas is far preferable to giving those monsters an inch.
Getting rid of MLB’s antitrust exemption would be a positive — I’ve written about the need for it like, half-a-dozen times this year alone. This isn’t the way, though. Rubio, Cruz, Hawley, and Lee — the Senator, not the Rep whose team is being stolen out from under her district — are deeply unserious people who can do serious damage from their positions of power, and allowing them to get to the right result for the wrong reasons can have long-term repercussions in arenas outside of just MLB and their antitrust status: it would be Congress agreeing that protecting these groups simply isn’t worth the effort, nor is it a priority. Being able to whip up a frenzied mob over Pride Nights and against voting rights and then frame it as a way of making the league better for fans is something that only some truly black-hearted people would come up with. You have to really make an effort to come off worse than the version of Congress that held hearings over steroid use in baseball to distract from the growing unpopularity of the Iraq War, but these soulless bags of meat are doing their best to make it happen.
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